Many people who think of themselves as scientists like to call astrology a “pseudoscience.” Pseudoscience is defined as “a collection of beliefs or practices mistakenly regarded as being based on scientific method” but some writers go so far as to call some of these fields of study “fake sciences,” meaning they purport to be science but are not. These theorists claim that because astrology is scientifically incorrect (planets don’t move backward and the Sun doesn’t orbit the earth) it is a fake science.
From what I can remember from high school science, the scientific method involves a series of testing with predictable results that are the same in every test. I don’t think anyone can argue that astrology, in any form, can be thought of as passing scientific muster.
The practice of astrology has no rules, and there are countless branches and techniques that are completely different from each other. Two exact natal charts can result in two totally different human beings who make different choices and have very different lives, and two individuals undergoing the exact same planetary transits will have unpredictable experiences. However, this does not negate the fact that an astrological reading of a natal chart from a skilled astrology can be an accurate representation of the various factors of the human personality.
Recently an article has been circulating about the political groups who most believe that astrology is scientific. As with most such debunking articles, this one is based on who reads newspaper “horoscopes.” I think most people understand that newspaper horoscopes are not astrology, so the entire premise of this study is flawed from the beginning.
Still, the study shows that more and more people believe in astrology which I think is encouraging and likely due to the plethora of blogs like this one which bring REAL astrology into the living rooms of people who otherwise would never be exposed to it.
Any field of study that examines human behavior cannot satisfy the scientific method. Psychiatry is a science that administers medicines to people with psychological disorders, but not every human responds to medication in the same way. The field of psychoanalysis does not use the exact same procedures for every patient.
Rather than a science, astrology falls under the category of metaphysics – the study of that which lies beyond the realm of what can be examined and studied.
The fact is, astrology skeptics nearly always prove their ignorance of the subject by equating astrology with newspaper horoscopes, or by using the premise that the Sun doesn’t orbit the Earth as proof that astrology is fake and people who believe in it are dumb. Personally, it doesn’t matter to me whether astrology is scientific. As long as it is illuminating and helpful, it will continue to be my religion.
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I recently listened to a lecture by noted physicist Richard P. Feynman, who complained (in 1964) that the average person was so unscientific, they still believed in faith healing and astrology. In fact, Feynman even attacked philosophers for waiting around for physicists to explain everything, then adapt their philosophy to fit the facts.
Admittedly, that was 50 years ago, but that same mindset prevails with many scientists still. – except science can’t measure a soul, can’t explain human consciousness, and they are still treating mental illness with electroshock therapy!
Mr. Feynman died 36 years ago this month, so I can’t be too harsh, but that left-brained way of thinking is fine for measuring the mass of an electron, but is useless in explaining human relationships, even more so in explaining “what is a soul?”
I studied physics, math, and astronomy in college and I marvel at our universe, but consciousness, the inner space that is unseen, can never be explained by the scientific method. That’s why I have been learning about astrology as well as psychology.
Thanks, Lynn. Sorry I went off like that. :)
I’d say calculating the positions and angles of the planets is a science. The interpretation is an art.
I think you are exactly right, KaD.
It is more scientific from a perspective of an astrologer that uses vedic astrology since the position of the planets are more accurate.